The GUARDIAN editor is in the Nation’s Capitol working for the “day job.”
Each time we ride the METRO subway/surface mass transit trains we must marvel at how clean, well run, and efficient it is. The system is basically four lines that come from each direction and wind through the city in the rough shape of a Swastika.
In the burbs many stops have park and ride ramps that are full to the gills with cars. The riders seem friendly and helpful to tourist from places like Idaho. They all ask, “Where are you from” if you ask a question or carry a camera.
But folks, the costs to build and run a system like this are pretty much the same whether you serve 200,000 people or 6 million. If the Boise airport parking garage is worth $30 million, the series of parking garages on the D.C. METRO “orange line” alone would exceed the entire budget of Boise in any year.
We can see first hand the advantages of mass transit, but it takes MASSES to make it work and foot the bill to build it. Great for big cities, the ruin of places like Boise.
We have little doubt that assorted planners and consultants will be making “light rail” sales pitches to the Treasure Valley decision makers in the near future. We can’t afford it and the GUARDIAN feels strongly that we need to look toward BUS solutions as a permanent, expandable system and not as a stop gap measure.
We are NOT Washington, Denver, or Chicago and let’s hope we never achieve such status.
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